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Indian minister warned of the offensive against Pakistan

11 June, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Hours after India’s army attacked separatist rebels just over the border with Myanmar, an Indian minister warned that the offensive was also a ‘message for Pakistan’.

India ‘will strike at a place and at a time of our choosing’ against all countries, including Pakistan, and groups harbouring ‘terror intent’, Indian media quoted Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore as saying.

Rathore said the government had taken the bold step to strike at militant camps and he congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doing so.

He told NDTV it was a signal to neighbours that India will not tolerate militant attacks from across its borders. “It is undoubtedly a message to all nations that harbour any intentions - be it the west or the specific country we went into right now. Even if there are groups within countries that harbour terror intentions, we will choose the time and the place of hitting them.”

The cross-border raid on two groups of militants was carried out in retaliation for the killing of 20 soldiers in an ambush in the northeastern state of Manipur last week, the heaviest losses for security forces in Manipur in two decades.

The mountainous northeast which borders China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is home to dozens of insurgent groups fighting for autonomy or secession from India.

For decades, soldiers have been deployed in the region but they are not known to have crossed borders even though the military says rebels have sanctuaries in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

The army said in a statement it had received intelligence that guerrillas were plotting more ambushes after last week’s attack on a convoy. It said soldiers inflicted ‘significant casualties’ but gave not details. The army did not say soldiers had crossed the border but the government did.

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